Awesome: Serenity

  • "No. You take care of me, Simon. You've always taken care of me. My turn."
  • Mal turns to walk away from the Operative, and you can hear the tearful voice of the long-dead scientist talking about Miranda. The scene is quiet, vivid, and heavy with emotion from all the death and sacrifice thus far, and we know that River may also be dead too, having been dragged away by the Reavers. Then, we cut to a Reaver's head rising up, snarling. It turns, and a fist comes out of nowhere, smashing into it, and the camera pans over to River. Then as the camera pulls out, we see she's not only still alive, is not only still fighting, is not only holding her own, but is completely obliterating every Reaver like they're uppity toddlers, complete with a rising triumphant soundtrack that confirms that yes, the good guys won. Holy crap.
    • The most vividly beautiful moment of the entire battle is when the doors rumble open, to show River standing completely uninjured, Atop a Mountain of Corpses, blood dripping from her weapons. That's when you know exactly what they meant by "living weapon." Despite what they say about bringing a knife to a gun fight, the Operative saved a lot of Alliance soldiers' lives when he called off the attack.
      • What is even more awesome about this moment is the fact that this happens right after Mal asks about River. Before Zoe can say "She's dead, sir..." the doors open to show her and that absolutely terrifying look on her face...
    • Hell, five people, three of whom hadn't even shot someone before, holding off so many of the so-called terrors of the 'verse for as long as they did? That's awesome in its own right.
      • Which brings us to Kaylee's line of "To hell with this. I'm gonna live."
  • In a less spectacular but no less awesome instance, River wakes up and realizes what Miranda is. She finds herself still handcuffed to the floor, and gets a look on her face that simply says, "You know, I don't want to be handcuffed anymore." She then proceeds to escape, ambush Jayne from the ceiling and knock him out without trying, dodges the rest of the crew as they try to find her, and when Mal finally catches up with her, holds him at gunpoint without even looking at him.
  • The Operative's introduction. Coming off as a nice, reasonable, perfectly understandable fellow, and then casually killing the head doctor of the Academy and praising him for his good work even as he's impaled on his sword.
    Would you be killed in your sleep like an ailing pet? ....This is a good death. There is no shame in this, a man's death, a man who has done fine works.
    • Prior to that:
      The Operative: You know, in certain...older...civilizations, men who had failed as entirely as you have would throw themselves on their swords.
      Doctor: Well, I forgot to bring a sword.
      The Operative: (draws his sword)
    • The Operative, for all his villainy, is pretty much a walking CMOA. The buildup to the fight between him and Mal at Inara's training house is one great example -
      The Operative: I want to resolve this like civilized men. I'm not threatening you. I'm unarmed -
      Mal: Good. [Shoots The Operative in the chest, sending him flying off his chair; Mal and Inara turn and begin to leave. The Operative, out of nowhere, grabs Mal and stops him.]
      The Operative: I am, of course, wearing full body armor! I am not a moron!
    • This quote:
      The Operative: I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there, any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.
    • The Operative gets one more at the end of the movie, when he fully realizes just what his utopia would mean.
      Stand down. Stand down. It's finished... We're finished.
    • "There is nothing left to see." The only way that line could have been more quietly awesome would be for Mal to turn around and find that the Operative had disappeared.
      • A deleted scene took this one further and almost made it to Tear Jerker territories. In the scene, the Operative asks Mal how he went on after losing everything at Serenity Valley. While Mal didn't kill him, he completely destroyed him.
  • And Mal's scene when he's plotting to disguise Serenity as a Reaver ship, and browbeats the entire crew into submission when they all object at the same time.
    So I hear a word outta any of you that ain't helpin' me out or takin' your leave, I will shoot you down. Get to work.
    • That scene is even more awesome in the light of his previous promise to Inara. "Trust me. If I start fighting a war, you're gonna see something new."
      • And judging from River's expression as Mal walks away, she's "seeing" something new as well...
    • Side note: in the original shooting script, the line wasn't "I will shoot you down", it was "I will fucking shoot you". Decide for yourself which is more CMOA.
  • "They're gonna see us coming." "No. They're not gonna see this coming."
    • The Operative draws his sword, as Mal pulls a random tool from a nearby toolbox to counter-attack. They get ready to strike, and Mal, the Operative, and the audience realize at the same time that his weapon is a screwdriver. Which he eventually uses to stab the Operative in the leg, then pull the Operative toward him with it for a follow-up punch.
    • The final confrontation with the Operative. You know, the one when Mal gets impaled through the stomach with the Operative's blade, and then casually pulls it out and continues fighting.
      The Operative: Do you know what your sin is, Mal?
      Mal: Aw, hell. I'm a fan of all seven. (headbutts the Operative)
      Mal: But right now I'm gonna have to go with wrath.
      • Their first confrontation was also awesome, especially the whole albatross debate.
        Mal (to Inara): Yes, I've read a poem. Try not to faint.
      • The bit when the Operative asks Mal if he's prepared to die for his beliefs. and Mal says "I am." Then he quick draws, pushes the Operative back with six shots and calmly says, "'Course, that ain't exactly plan A."
    • And of course, the Operative tells Mal that he can't make him angry. Later on, the otherwise painfully-honorable Operative shoots Mal in the back.
      Mal: ....you shot me in the back! I haven't made you angry, have I?
      The Operative: There's lots of innocent people getting killed up there...
      Mal: You don't know how true that is.
  • The entirety of the "I aim to misbehave" speech is this in its own right; it becomes doubly so when you consider the sheer number of real-world metaphors it stands in for.
    "Because sure as I know anything, I know this: They will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean, but a year from now? Ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people....better."
  • Wash: "I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar."
    • When the crew landed safely near the ending, everything seemed all right... aaaaaaand then Wash got impaled by a spike. His last act, saving the crew from the Reavers and the Alliance. The crew then responds with their own CMOA and take on the Reavers.
  • Book gets his own (offscreen) moment of awesome when he shoots down the Alliance ship that destroyed Haven.
  • And then there's the Oh Crap! moment when Serenity bursts out of the ion cloud with a hundred Reaver ships chasing it straight into the Alliance fleet.
    • Also a stand-up-in-your-seat-and-cheer moment as you realize what Mal's plan had been all along. And the priceless look on the Operative's face...
      • For those who want to know just how legendary it is, take a look at this little beauty presented ever-so-correctly by the Oh Crap! page.
      • Made even better by his line, which starts off calm but very quickly devolves into panic:
        Operative: Target the Reavers. Target the Reavers! Target everyone, somebody fire!
  • Inara's little trick with the incense:
    Operative: You are fooling yourself, Captain. Nothing here is what it seems. You are not the plucky hero, the Alliance is not an evil empire, and this is not the grand arena.
    Inara: And that's not incense. [flashbang disguised as incense goes off]
  • Jayne: "Shiny. Let's be bad guys."
    • The moment after Jayne comes running into the vault, telling them that Reavers are about to attack.
      Mal: (to Zoe and Jayne) Get on the mule! (to guard) Does tható does that lock from the inside?
      Guard: Uh, yesó
      Mal: Get everyone upstairs you get them down here and you seal it. As long as you got air, you don't open up, you understand?
      Guard: Ió butó Ió
      Mal: Get them inside the vault!
      • Made even better by the news report in the background in a later scene that the only survivors of a Reaver attack were a group of people who locked themselves inside a bank vault.
    • And of course:
      Wash: Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a 90-pound girl, 'cause....I don't think that's ever getting old.
      • While there's no arguing that he got KTFO'd where he stood and that it was hilarious, Jayne was the only guy in the whole damn bar who managed to sneak up on River and actually get a decent shot at subduing her. Which is pretty damn awesome, when you think about it.
      • Also, Jayne has the drop on River and has a reasonable chance of killing or disabling her, even without a gun, but when push comes to shove, he tries to restrain her unharmed.
  • It seems like the entire 'Verse is encapsulated in the following rant. Remember, you keep pushing people, eventually people will push back!
    Mal: There's a lot of fine ways to die. I ain't waiting for the Alliance to choose mine! [Shoots Alliance soldier crawling from wreckage]
  • Nathan Fillion gets one himself. In Mal's final battle with The Operative, instead of faking his face hitting the glass floor, Nathan Fillion actually slammed his face against it every single take.
    • Joss Whedon even halted filming for half-an-hour to give the swelling on Nathan's cheek time to go down.
    • Piss off Mal and he'll kill you. Make him really angry and he'll leave you wishing that he did.
  • Simon decking Mal after the opening heist.
  • As Firefly shows, Simon is a crap actor... if he has to do it on the spot. The opening rescue in Serenity showed just how well he could act when he had prep time. He is absolutely convincing, even intimidating, acting like an Alliance inspector. Then he tops even that CMoA when he pulls off the rescue.
    • It helps that he was impersonating a doctor, which he already is. And he knew exactly what his 'motivation' was.
  • Kaylee gets a Crowning Moment of Awesome, Funny, and Heartwarming all in one with this exchange:
    Simon: In all that time on the ship... I've always regretted... not being with you.
    Kaylee: With me? You mean to say... as in sex?
    Simon (flustered): I... mean to say.
    Kaylee: [Dramatic Gun Cock] To Hell with this. I'm gonna live!
  • The fight scene that River has in the bar is a meta one for Summer Glau. On top of her prior experience as a dancer, she managed to apparently do every single take faster than the previous one, even after having done multiple takes.